Sam Houston State U. Upgrades Security on a Budget

This Texas-based institution of higher education has improved its security and emergency notification capabilities by installing new emergency call stations.

A security director’s top priority is to keep their campus safe by any means necessary.  Unfortunately, budget cuts and lack of personnel have thwarted many directors’ plans at creating such realities. The good news is that the majority of campuses already have some sort of infrastructure in place.  Many locations utilize emergency phones and mass notification speakers to maximize their coverage.  However, due to budgetary constraints, many campuses reject calls to expand or replace these installations with newer and more effective products.

Sam Houston State University, a bustling campus of about 17,500 students and nearly 1,500 staff, has been on a crusade to expand their mass notification solution coverage within their budget. Already installed on campus were 19 of Talk-A-Phone’s blue light emergency phone and mass notification towers.

Mark Adams, the university’s Vice President of Information Technology, worked with others to determine what upgrades were needed for several of the towers. Due to the success and popularity of Talk-A-Phone’s blue light emergency phone towers with WEBS mass notification technology on campus, Adams and his team determined that every tower on campus should have the mass notification capability.

Upgrading blue light emergency phone towers can mean entirely replacing existing units at other educational institutions. The cost of replacing existing units with mass notification towers was outside the university’s budget. Fortunately for Adams and his team, Talk-A-Phone had a solution in the form of their WEBS retrofit kits, which fit nearly any of Talk-A-Phone’s blue light towers.

The retrofit kit turns any standard tower into a fully functioning mass notification solution. Without having to replace existing units or provide additional infrastructure, the kit offers considerable savings on installation and equipment, while providing the capabilities of a brand new mass notification solution.

“Around 2010 we started looking at expanding our campus mass notification system,” Adams says, “By offering mass notification upgrade kits for our existing Talk-A-Phone towers, Talk-A-Phone provided us with a very cost effective solution”.

The retrofit kits fit smoothly over the top of each tower, extending the height just under an additional two feet. The towers’ existing blue light can be placed on top of the kit, fitting in seamlessly to the tower’s new addition.

Another benefit of the new towers and retrofit kits is their reliability. Sam Houston State has been using Talk-A-Phone products for nearly 10 years without a single complication or complaint. When the university originally started looking at various emergency communication and mass notification options, they determined that they wanted something reliable.  Each year, since their installation, the units have been resistant to weather and daily use by students and staff. 

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